A Response to the Homeopathy Awareness Campaign

Introduction

As some of you know will know, I am writing a book thoroughly debunking homeopathy.  The book is called “Infinitely Diluted Intelligence: The Stupidity of Homeopathy”.

I plan to finish writing this book sometime in 2022 and if possible, to self-publish it around this date.

In the book, I address the claims presented by the School of Homeopathy on this website.

There are twenty extremely flimsy sections that present some very bad arguments for homeopathy. All of which I will be covering in my book.

Here is a polished early draft of the answer to the first five sections. Enjoy. I have added some images that will not be in the book.

If you are unfamiliar with homeopathy, I have talked about in this podcast episode.

Book Excerpt

1)How widespread is the use of homeopathy?

“Today it is estimated that over 600 million people use and trust homeopathy.”

That does not bear on whether it is a legitimate medicine that works better than a placebo. The number of people that use homeopathy has no bearing on whether it is valid.

Once upon a time, almost everyone believed the Sun revolved around the Earth. Yet, as every educated person now knows, the Sun has never revolved around the Earth! So, it is irrelevant what millions of people on Earth used to believe. They were all wrong! Their beliefs had no bearing on the facts.

That many, even most people, believe something is true does not make it so. It does not even suggest that it might be true.

Lots of people believe Bigfoot exists. Yet, they have provided no legitimate evidence for this assertion. Does the fact that millions of people believe it provides us with any reason to think it might be true?

Bigfoot
Would Bigfoot be real just because a billion people thought he was? Probably not…

No. Before we accept that something might be true, that it is possible, we must first look at the evidence. We need to determine if there is any evidence that suggests the claim might be valid. That requires at least some evidence that shows the claims match some aspect of reality. In the absence of such evidence, there is no reason to believe the claim.

Lots of people believing in something is not evidence of the claim. It does not matter if one person or ten billion people believe it. Ten billion people can quite readily be dead wrong.

They assert that the market for homeopathy is growing at a rate of 23% per year. The growth rate of homeopathy is not proof of its validity. The growth rate of belief does not bear on its validity.

At the time of writing, there seems to be a growing number of people who believe that Donald Trump is the Messiah. There is also an increasing number of people opposed to vaccines for no reason.

However, Donald Trump is not a Messiah. And vaccines are not only valid but have become increasingly more effective and safer.

“In Europe alone, nearly 130 million people access homeopathic treatment… It is used by 15 percent of UK citizens… and trusted by 69% of French and Belgian citizens.”

It does not matter that 130 million Europeans access homeopathic treatment. It does not make homeopathy valid. If the homeopaths are correct, billions of people are using actual medicine. So, does the fact that billions of people use medicine prove that it works?

Of course not. But the reason that most educated people rely on actual medicine is not that lots of other people do. We have ample evidence that actual medicine works. Evidence that people find convincing.

That is why billions of people use it. That is why most of Europe’s population of over 742 million people do not use homeopathy. This is the reason 85% of UK citizens do not use homeopathy. That is why 77% of doctors in Switzerland do not prescribe homeopathy to their patients.

I would suggest that homeopaths stop using these kinds of statistics. The legitimacy of homeopathy does not depend on how many people use it or believe that it is true. The popularity of something does not show how well it works.

We could show that far greater numbers of people use actual medicine. And that this proves it is superior to homeopathy.

But we do not need to stoop to such tactics to prove that actual medicine actually works.

“In 2004, the World Health Organization stated that homeopathy was the second most used medical system worldwide.”

This assertion does not lend credence to homeopathy. Once upon a time, bloodletting was a very popular form of “treatment”. But even Samuel Hahnemann, the creator of homeopathy, knew that was a load of nonsense.

Bloodletting was the practice of releasing alleged imbalances of chemicals from the body by draining blood from the body.

Many medical problems used to be allegedly caused by the invasion of evil spirits. I doubt that many modern homeopaths would consider such claims credible.

It does not matter how many experts make false claims, they are still false. Truth is not a matter of expert consensus.

2) What is homeopathy?

“Homeopathy is a system of natural medicine”.

No, it is not natural. Yes, it is derived from natural substances. But that does not mean that homeopathy is natural. Let me explain why it is not natural and even if it was natural, that wouldn’t count for much.

Homeopathy often uses ethanol and water. These are natural substances. Ethanol is a natural product of plant and yeast fermentation.

The fact that something is natural does not help homeopathy. Whether something is natural is rather irrelevant. Does a substance have the properties required to have a useful medical effect? If so, then it is medicine.

Let us suppose we take natural things such as water. It takes a lot of water to be harmful, and reasonable doses of water are beneficial or at least harmless.

St. John’s Wort can help with depression in the short term. Doses of curcimin are effective in alleviating arthritis pain. It can be as effective as some common anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen. Ginger can help with nausea associated with pregnancy, chemotherapy and medical operations.

So, we know that natural substances can be of medical benefit for various ailments.

However, if you ingest too much water, you can suffer water toxicity. This creates an imbalance of electrolytes, which can be fatal. This is why infants under six months should not be given water straight. They are highly subject to suffering from water toxicity if you give them water straight.

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